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Day in the Life of the School

A typical day at Burwood Park, a boarding school for deaf children, features in this film made by two of its pupils, Alan Loft and Michael Chawner

Short documentary 1970 25 mins Not rated


From the collection of:

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The day begins, in this remarkable film, with staff waking up the boys. Spruced up they file into assembly and listen to a daily reading. Lessons begin with woodwork followed by maths, art and a speech class. After a tuck break the afternoon continues with football, country dancing, more study and hobbies like caring for pets and working in the school garden. The boys even print their own Christmas cards and a school magazine. But soon the long day closes and it's time for bed.

Burwood Park School was a technical secondary school for deaf pupils in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey - where almost every student went into full-time employment, an apprenticeship or further education. The Guinness family, owners of the mansion that housed the school, were its sponsors. It opened in September 1955 with 35 pupils, aged 11 to 15, from all over Britain. Mr William E. Wood, who appears in the assembly scene, was its first Headmaster. He retired in 1976. Ten years later, a new Headmaster, Mr Kell, introduced a plan to make the school co-educational and girls arrived from Woodford School on its closure in 1991. However, a lack of pupils throughout the decade led to Burwood Park’s closure in 1996.